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By Chupe, ACE Poetry Contest Mascot, San Francisco International High School
Hello poets near and far! Thanks to the encouraging words, woofs and meows from our ACE family, Cronos and I have successfully motivated our burgeoning poets to begin writing. Last week, we hosted our first poetry workshop. Students read some examples of inspiring poetry, began drafting their own poems and even read some pieces out loud.
Students still have two weeks to work on their own submissions before our poetry contest. I’m keeping my paws crossed that the winners will be brave enough to share their words with the entire school.
Happy Poetry Month,
Chupe (and Cronos)
P.S. Riley, everyone is talking about Poem in Your Pocket Day. I have lots of poems I want to carry around all day, but what’s a pocket?
By Riley, ACE Poetry Contest Mascot, assisted by Martha Sessums (for spelling purposes only)
The ACE Poetry Contest Mascot posse of Chupe, Cronos, Violet and Thor are working with teachers and students to learn about poetry. But I have some fun facts to share.
1. The oldest written poem is a 4,000-year old epic about Gilgamesh, a half-god/half-man king from the ancient kingdom of Babylon. It consists of a long, narrative story, typically of awesome heroic actions. Sort of like our awesome ACE Learning Center students and teachers who are heroic daily.
2. But it’s not the longest. That’s an Indian epic poem named Mahabhrata, which is 1.8 million words, written starting in 300 BC. That’s eight times as long as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Topic is the story of India told through an 18-day Indian war. Lot of words for a short war, so the story is bigger than the battle.
3. But haiku is the shortest form of poetry, and one of the most popular. Started in Japan, it consists of 17 syllables and three lines containing five, seven and five syllables. Discipline required here. That’s why I like rap and slam. Less rules.
4. But the really shortest poem is a two-word poem called The Shortest and Sweetest of Songs by George MacDonald. It reads: “Come Home.” My buddy John is always rapping poetry to me, but typically only one word: “Stay,” “Come,” “No.”
5. You afraid of poetry? Called metrophobia. Term originated from metre, a basic structure of poetry. Usually happens because your teacher assigned you to read Mahabhrata, that really long poem, and you put off doing the homework until the night before it’s due. Now that’s scary.
Hope you are all learning cool stuff about poetry and writing great poems. Hopefully not 1.8 million words long though.
Remember to treat yourself to a poem.
By Riley, ACE Poetry Contest Mascot, Assisted by Martha Sessums (for spelling purposes only)
This is awesome. We mascots are writing rhymes to each other because we’re so excited to be working together. Check out earlier blogs.
You’ve met all the mascots now:
–Chupe and Cronos for San Francisco International High School
–Thor for Oxford Day Academy and ACE Learning Center
–Violet for Oakland International High School
–Riley (that’s me) for all the Alpha Public Schools and ACE Learning Center
As a rhyming team
We bark and meow
The rhyme grid,
And we’re not the only ACE Learning Centers celebrating poetry. Our friends at KALW Public Radio (they do the awesome Audio Academy) put poets on air. Arf. Radio time. On radio spectrum. KALW teamed up with America Scores Bay Area to bring young poets from San Francisco’s Tenderloin elementary schools to the airwaves. These are “poet-athletes” because they not only write cool poems, but they play soccer too. Or hoops. Or baseball. Check it out here – too cool for school.
April promises to be a poetic month. Watch the ACE Spectrum blog because we mascots are busy writing poems and enjoying spreading the fun of poetry to the students in our schools. Like they say, “On the internet, everyone is a poet.”
Don’t forget that April 26 is Poem in Your Pocket Day. Start choosing your poem now – the one to pull out of your pocket and read to friends and strangers, which immediately makes those strangers your friend.
And thanks for all the “Likes” for the picture of me with Lucy Rose. She may be working on writing a poem too. A baby one.
Treat yourself to a poem.